Do you encourage winter wildlife?

There are a total of 329 votes:

My bird feeders give me hours of enjoyment!
(162 votes, 49%)
Red dot

I feed the squirrels and chipmunks.
(3 votes, 0%)
Red dot

I feed the deer.
(1 votes, 0%)
Red dot

I feed a combination of various wild creatures.
(91 votes, 27%)
Red dot

I do not feed wildlife.
(72 votes, 21%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Northeast, LA(Zone 8a)

Well I make sure there is plenty of berry plants for the birds. I have a suet out but they are not interested. I have not put out much seed feed this year.
Not by choice I manage to keep the armadillos fed too.
I have lots of acorns for the smaller animals.
At our camp it is another story. We keep those deer fed year round. We have a no kill policy for all the deer who want to come to the fields around our camp.They are for the children to observe and learn their habits.

The lovely "rouge gorges" (our local quivalent of a robin-redbreast, I guess) come to the feeder on the balcony throughout the Winter and show no fear of us or the cats who love to watch them through the glass. They are gorgeous and fearless little birds. The "messonges" (similar to chickadees) are a bit more flighty, dashing in, grabbing some seed, and off again. You have to watch them from the corner of your eye. They do, indeed, provide hours of entertainment.
I think (hope) that the herrison (hedgehog) down the garden also gets what is left out for him, but there is so much wildlife around that it's hard to know who's getting what!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

There should have been a choice, "I have wildlife plantings for food & shelter."
So I voted feeding a combination--

We have a large grove that is an old growth grove with lots of trees of various sizes & many shrubs & bushes.
In our market garden we have erosion control strips that are planted with wild flowers, alfalfa, clovers, & various shrubs. Besides stopping wind & water erosion, they have seeds & cover for many birds & animals.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

I voted for a combination...we feed birds and squirrels, rabbits, opossum, raccoons, an armadillo or two and so it would seem, a variety of neighborhood dogs, cats and teenagers....grin, in addition to our own dogs,fish, cats and teenager.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Plantings and feeding. All of the above except the last choice.

a combination of various wild creatures
intentional and otherwise!

Thumbnail by podster
Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

The opossum here has my cats convinced it is a new breed of long nosed, naked tailed cat. Opened the door one night to let the cats in and startled the jumped over one of the cats lounging on the porch, and the cat didn't even blink....

Podster, was that the last voting choice or teenagers.?...grin

Billerica, MA(Zone 6a)

I do not feed wildlife, at least not in a method which goes against their natural instict to find food for themselves. I have berry trees and bushes and plenty of wildflowers for butterflys and bees. Squirrels have a plentiful supply of food from the natural environment present on my property. It's my personal believe that if wildlife is feed by non natural methods (ie birdfeeders and such), they will become dependent on them. Just my theory.

San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

Watched this little fella out the kitchen window one morning munching on ficus berries.

Thumbnail by stevelvv
Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

I have birdfeeders outside my home office window year-round, which makes inside work (pounding the keyboard) that much easier. We have a farm pond that I am working on developing into a wildlife refuge. My woodland creatures are shy - even though we live on acreage in a rural area, I don't see any near the house, so I assume they have enough food on their own.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I voted combination............we feed squirrels, chipmunks, birds, the occasional possum has been under the bird feeders, the occasional goose finds its way here and a wild turkey comes every May for one day..............

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

I feed birds all year, and am a longtime Certified Wildlife Habitat member. Have planted lots of trees and shrubs to improve my 5 acre habitat. As I mentioned in previous notes, I have lived in this location for almost 15 years now, there was nothing here except sagebrush, cheat grass and other native grasses. 2 and 1/2 acres are completely fenced in because so many deer and coyotes. Have to protect my flock of chickens and guineas. There are about 35 birdhouses inside fenced area and outside. And many feeders, plus all the fruits and berries.

Here is a picture of part of my yard, part of the windbreak.


Thumbnail by rutholive

Actually, I hadn't thought about our own seasonal visitor until you mentioned your wild turkey (smart not to come in November, huh?), cece!
For the past 6 years, we have had a heron (I just guess it's the same one!) who stops here for a day or two every Spring and Fall, has a nice snack of goldfish to store up for the next leg of its trip, and moves on.
Wouldn't say we "encourage" him/her, but we are feeding this lovely bird!
(So, do our ponds count as "bird feeders"?)

Edited to say, "How beautiful, rutholive! We cross-posted)

This message was edited Jan 25, 2010 4:17 PM

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

I also voted combination. I have several bird feeders w/ various feeds. We also have wild turkeys that stop by and make themselves at home. The chipmunks are our entertainment all year as they "raid" the feeders!
We have planted certain bushes that have berries that wildlife can browse upon.

Thumbnail by saanansandy
Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

Whooops wrong pic!!

Thumbnail by saanansandy
(Zone 1)

I have many feeders around the yard, put them there for the birds but of course we have many squirrels that dine all day ... and at night the possums and raccoons have dinner. I spend to much money on bird seed, nuts and fruit!

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

We get the occasional river otter in our creek-fed pond. They seem to travel in pairs or small families, hang out for a day or two, then resume their journeys. I'm guessing they eat fish of some sort from the pond. We also get eagles in the fall when the salmon are spawning, and a heron on and off all summer (we call him 'the fisherman').

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Feed with berry-bearing plants . . .


Thumbnail by Resin
Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

Wow! That's one healthy bird!

Southern Dutchess Co, NY(Zone 5b)

I love the wildlife and for many years, we put out bird feeders. The wild turkeys would come around and scavenge what was on the ground - they were the most entertaining! We decided against feeders this year due to the cost of seed and the fact that the deer and squirrels were raiding the feeders so the birds were receiving little to none. I hated to do it, but this is the way it'll have to be. In fact, I don't see that my neighbors (who have traditionally fed the birds as well) have any feeders out this year, either.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Seems like I feed pretty much anything that comes to my house hungry: raccoons, opossums, birds, ducks, geese, stray cats, a turtle or 2. I figure I've been blessed to have plenty as I do, so I pass it on when needed.

I'm starting to think there may be a sign in the forest somewhere directing all hungry creatures to my door.

Minden, LA

Nature feeds the wildlife in my area more than adequately. The only handouts from us are occasional treats for the visiting neighbor dogs and nectar for the hummingbirds.

Milwaukee, WI

I voted do not feed the wildlife but I quess I really do. Plenty of berries and seed heads left out all winter for them I just dont put feeders out for them. Have an abundance of birds,possoms,coons squirrels with out putting out feeders. Did not do it intentionally but I quess I do feed them, just naturally.

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

We put out water and a small amount of food out for the birds just about every day but don't leave food out overnight because we don't want to attract rats. Also, if the food is too abundant, the quantity of birds becomes unsanitary, or so it appears. (Remember, most of the time we don't get much rain to wash things away.) We unintentionally feed skunks, possums, raccoons, gophers, squirrels, coyotes, and who knows what else. Actually, I don't know if they all find food, but they come here for some reason. Apparently food is very abundant around here. The toyon, nandina, and pyracantha berries dry up on the bushes because the birds don't eat them.

(Zone 1)

I stated that I have many feeders in the yard, but we also have fruit/ berry trees, and shrubs that birds love. I just add to their natural diet, more so in winter than other times of year.

(Zone 1)

Resin: What is that beautiful little bird in your lovely photo? Is it a sparrow of some sort? Love the expression on his face!

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I quit with the bird feeders when I read that it's better to grow native plants to feed the wildlife. I have many trees, shrubs, and plants now that provide food and shelter.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

I live in an apartment complex in the city and there aren't many animals around here. In the fall, some squirrels pick up acorns and a lone blue heron comes fishing occasionally. Also, I have a cat so I can't have a bird feeder because she is a good hunter.

Elberfeld, IN(Zone 6a)

I have native shrubs and trees and also have suet for the woodpeckers - last year, the momma Downey WP brought her babies to the suet feeders in my huge catalpha tree. What amazed me is how unafraid the babies were....they did not scamper away when I reached to the limb where they were...I honestly think I could have touched them, but chose not to do that. It is also fun to see the Golden Finches bring their babies to the Niger feeders - the babies will sit on the limb and beg and the momma just flies to them then back to the feeders - they finally get the idea......

Ripon, WI(Zone 4a)

I used to feed all wildlife, but then they got too destructive in the spring when my plants started coming up. And the squirrels were destroying all my bird feeders. So I finally gave up on them.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quote from plantladylin :
Resin: What is that beautiful little bird in your lovely photo? Is it a sparrow of some sort? Love the expression on his face!

It's a Redwing (Turdus iliacus, a species of thrush).

Here's another thrush species (Fieldfare Turdus pilaris, a bit larger - same size as an American Robin) in the same tree


Thumbnail by Resin
Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

I had to stop feeding critters in our yard.. we had several bird feeders & squirrel feeders but had to stop due to a black bear trashing the place.. I do miss it very much

Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

I live in an apartment complex in the city and there aren't many animals around here. In the fall, some squirrels pick up acorns and a lone blue heron comes fishing occasionally.
Cornell has some easy tips (and photos) for attracting animals even in very limited space. Maybe go for bugs instead of birds?

Herons are cool.

There should have been a choice, "I have wildlife plantings for food & shelter."
... and water.

I'm working to get more winter berry plants in. I've been surprised this year how much difference it made to leave the seedheads on the grass, resisting that impulse to "tidy up" by mowing one last time in the fall.

Logan Lake, BC(Zone 3a)

I feed the birds, squirrels, chipmunks & apparently voles. I have 6 bird feeders & 3 suet blocks.
When we moved here 9 years ago I planted a few trees and quite a few shrubs with the birds in mind, that provide berries and cover.
Sometimes in the fall and spring the bears raid our feeders so we just take them in at night.
This winter for the first time, we have had a handsome deer, a big buck with a nice rack, jump the fence into the back yard and lick the seed out of the feeders.

Logan Lake, BC(Zone 3a)

The vole and the Chipmunk!
I was trying to get a pic of the chipmunk and didn't see the vole until I downloaded the pics into the computer!

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Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

My backyard is Bird Central Station. And the goldfinches are eating me out of house and nyger.

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Oh my! Don't get me started on this! LOL!

I feed numerous birds using 1-2 feeders located in one small area of my backyard. But it also brings in the squirrels, raccoons, armadillos, possums, and fruit rats. And those creatures bring in a bobcat, snakes, hawks, and owls. My yard is just a standard residental lot, but I do have vacant lots around my property. You would never know I live in a neighborhood to see all the critters in my backyard. And of course I also have my hummingbird feeders up, too! As well as lots of plants for the butterflies and bees. Amazing what you can attract to a small backyard. The funniest part, I have a tall vinyl privacy fence that should keep them all out, but they dig under the fence, jump from the trees (in the lot behind me) to my roof and climb down into my yard, or squeeze through two narrow openings in the fencing. It's the bird seed is what draws a lot of them to my yard. :-)

This message was edited Jan 26, 2010 1:49 PM

OK, I'll bite:
what is "niger" or "nyger"?

Dalton, GA(Zone 7b)

Love Comes Form The Heart And iF It Means Feeding Some Thing Wild Well Then Count Me In

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Dallas, OR(Zone 8b)

I put 'Do not feed the wildlife'. But I do grow a large variety of plants, shrubs and trees that provide food for the wild life. : ) It is my way of contributing to supporting wildlife.

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